I.Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a novel about the descent into super-individualism through mass governmental brainwashing. The book begins while the main character, Guy Montag, is burning a house for concealing contraband literature. It portraits the pleasure he derives from this act of mindless destruction. After this work though an eccentric neighbor girl who does not fit the status quo confronts him. She begins to ask him questions that force him to think about things he has taken for granted before. The story progresses as this girl continually influences him until a car killed her. The next time he is called to incinerate a house, he ends up taking a book and watching an old lady burn to death. This event coupled with the death of the neighbor girl influence him to seek out a book-reading professor he had met previous to this story. The professor and him begin to plot the downfall of society and the Firemen. Just when you think things are gonna work out, he is ordered to burn his house after which he burns his boss with a flame-thrower. This makes him a fugitive from justice. He then flees from the scene and ends up evading the manhunt. After a while he meets up with other people who are fugitives because of their literary learning. The next day the city he fled from is destroyed in an atomic blast and the bums go in to help the survivors.
a) Man against Man: The only instance in the story that fits this category is the conflict Guy has with his boss. His boss, Beatty begins to suspect Guy’s illegal reading of contraband and begins to take steps for Guy’s downfall. First of all Beatty is much smarter and well learned than Guy so he begins to play mind games to try and trip him up. He also forces Guy to burn his house and tries to arrest him. Guy comes out on top and wins the conflict by setting his boss on fire.
b) Man against Himself: One good example of this type of conflict is the inner turmoil in Guy Montag. This conflict was started by his talks with the neighbor girl. She awakened a self-thinking side of him that was at odds with his brainwashed, socially acceptable side. As should be, this new side won out over his old self after he thought about it.
c) Man against Society: This one is easy. The whole book is about his struggle with unknown influences that are following his movements and watching him. The society he was trying to bring down was one that encouraged individualism so those individuals would not care about the big picture. This society fueled the lack of creative thought and encouraged destructive behaviors. Guy actually did not conquer this foe himself. It was destroyed in an atomic war.
I would recommend this book only under certain circumstances. Such as; if you have too much time on your hands, your TV is broke and you need to fill time until the repair man get there, or if you are required to do a book report. In my opinion, there is not much substance to this book besides an attempt to strengthen the resolve of the reader to not let such a future be possible. Which let the reader be assured that this future is not possible and they should instead read the book as entertainment from the imagination of Mr. Bradbury.